Tuesday, November 25, 2014
You started Chuck Russom FX back in 2010 – what made you launch your own independent sound effects? And how has the market evolved since then?
You’ve got some unique libraries in your catalog, including Fireworks and Skateboard. How do you come up with ideas for new libraries?
What are some of your favorite libraries in your catalog?Now that it’s been nearly 5 years, looking back at the catalog, each library really represents a period of time for me. Dogs was a fun experience for me. Hiring a professional handler and working with them as they brought out dog after dog. Talking with them about the unique voices and personalities each animal had. That one was a fun experiment that really paid off with a lot of great material.
You’ve recently completed a gun library – how did that come about?Guns seemed like a great way to start the next phase of things. I struggled with the cost. It is quite likely that I will never make my money back on this library. I thought about doing a Kickstarter. Then I shot that idea down. Then I briefly went back to that idea. In the end, I decided it was ok to do this and not make money. I need these sounds all the time in my game work, and even if I can’t break even with library sales, these sounds will serve me well for years.
Guns was a huge time and money investment. I spent 3 months planning it. I had spreadsheets tracking weapon rental costs, ammo counts and costs, location rental, travel costs, equipment that needed to be bought, borrowed, stolen, or rented. I also had a number of people involved on this shoot. On the weapon side, there were 2 handlers and the company who owned the weapons. I needed help on the recording side and wanted to document the sessions, so I brought an additional recordist and a photographer.
I used all of this research to build my recording plan for the library. In the end, after all the hard work, I came away with the best sounding guns I have ever recorded. And that is quite a relief! This whole project could have gone bad in any number of ways.
As an independent SFX creator, how do you build your brand as a sound designer?
What have been some of the most important lessons you’ve learned as an indie SFX creator?
Any word on what the next release will be?A lot of it inspired by some of the work I’ve been doing the past couple years on the game “Evolve”. Hopefully that will be out by the end of 2014.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
At Game Developers Conference 2011, I had the great pleasure of speaking on a panel with 3 talented sound veterans; Charles Maynes, Chris Sweetman, and Ben Minto (Audio Director at Dice). Our panel focused on the entire pipeline of gun sound design for games. From recording, through sound design, to implementation. Each of us gave a short talk focusing on one element of the process.
Charles Maynes discussed recording gun sounds. Chris Sweetman and I both talked about gun sound design, each of us having a unique perspective on the process. Finally, Ben Minto came in an put it all together with a great talk covering the technical side of implementing sounds into a game. It was great fun with a great bunch of guys and the talk turned out really good.
Here is recorded audio from the talk. Warning, the quality is listenable but isn't awesome (I had no part in recording this):
Here are the slides from the presentation:
The footage below comes form a EA/DICE gun recording session and shows a comparison of different microphones and positions. Ben Minto of DICE put this together for the presentation. The video is property of EA/DICE:
Four Guns West
|Left to Right: Charles Maynes, Chuck Russom, Chris Sweetman, Ben Minto|
Chuck Russom Special: Call of Duty [Exclusive Interview]
This interview was originally published in 2010 on
Designing Sound. It covers the audio design for the 2003 PC Game Call of Duty.